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Tammy Beecham

Iowa City, Iowa

Itinerary

My boyfriend and I are taking a quick, last minute weekend trip to New York. Can someone tell me if this is doable? Neither of us has been there before so we’re not really sure what we’re doing. We figured we’d do one uptown day and one downtown day. Also, we love to walk, so we’ve planned a lot of walking. 

Saturday:

  • Rockefeller Center
  • Go to “Top of the Rock” observation deck
  • Radio City Music Hall tour
  • Walk down 6th avenue to 34th street and shop at Macy’s 
  • Walk over to Empire State Building (we won’t go up to top, we just want to see it)
  • Walk back up to 5th Avenue and across town to the 59th street bridge and take Roosevelt Island tram to see view of the city
  • Maybe have dinner on the island?

Sunday:

  • Pick up breakfast and eat it in Washington Square to people-watch
  • Walk down Broadway to shop at all the stores 
  • Walk all the way down to Fulton and head east to the South Street Seaport 
  • Have dinner at South Street
  • Walk back across town to Ground Zero, see the memorial and St. Paul’s church
  • Find a cute bar around there for a night cap. 

Thanks in advance. T

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  • Courtney Robinson

    top answer by

    Both of your days are definitely doable and you’ve chosen some great things to see, but if I can make some suggestions:

    On day one, I’d personally substitute the Circle Line Cruises tour for the tram. You will have already had a great view of the city at the Top of the Rock and to be honest, the tram is a little overrated. Roosevelt Island itself is by far the ugliest part of the city and you’ll only get one view if you choose that option. The Circle Line leaves from the 42nd street pier, which will be easier to get to from where you’ll be anyway. It’s more expensive, but you’ll get to see so much more ( Ellis Island , Statue of Liberty , etc.) and their nighttime tour is really stunning.

    Also, Macy's may be iconic, but really isn’t that great. It’s insanely crowded and the quality of goods isn’t really anything to write home about. If you want to see a really beautiful store, go to Bergdorf Goodman on 57th. It literally looks like a palace. Obviously this will work better if you decide to do the Circle Line instead of the tram.

    Day two is very doable, too, although if I can just suggest a slightly altered version of this it will give you a much more authentic feel for what downtown NY really is:

    • Start off having breakfast at Chelsea Market Baskets. Washington Square Park is really just college kids and skateboarders. Chelsea Market has much more life. Actually, if you flip your days, you can go to Union Square for the Farmer’s Market (they’re closed on Sundays), which is a lot of fun.
    • Instead of walking downtown via Broadway, try walking down West Broadway. It’ll put you in SoHo instead of the West Village and you’ll encounter fewer Gaps, Banana Republics, etc. and more art galleries, independent stores, etc.
    • I’d go to Ground Zero and Church of St. Paul the Apostle at this point in the day because they close at 4 on Sundays.
    • I would definitely skip South Street Seaport . It’s a glorified shopping mall and the only people who ever go there are tourists. I’d either take that time and see the Brooklyn Bridge (you can walk across it) or Chinatown New York . There are some great places to eat in Chinatown. A favorite of mine is 456 Shanghai Cuisine on Mott. Just re-opened after a long, long closure. Excellent food and relatively cheap.
    • For a nightcap, I’d head over to Hudson Street and about 11th. There are lots of really cute little bars in the area and vibe is very mellow. If you want to have a drink at a really iconic place, the White Horse Tavern is right there. Sway on Spring is also fantastic.

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    • Tammy B.

      Tammy B.

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    Mentioned in this answer:

    1. Circle Line Cruises (attraction)
    2. Top of the Rock (attraction)
    3. Roosevelt Island Tram (attraction)
    4. Ellis Island (attraction)
    5. Statue of Liberty (attraction)
    6. Macy's (attraction)
    7. Bergdorf Goodman (restaurant)
    8. Chelsea Market (attraction)
    9. Washington Square Park (attraction)
    10. Union Square Park (attraction)
    11. SoHo (neighborhood)
    12. Ground Zero (attraction)
    13. Church of St. Paul the Apostle (attraction)
    14. South Street Seaport (attraction)
    15. Chinatown New York (neighborhood)
    16. 456 Shanghai Cuisine (restaurant)
    17. White Horse Tavern (restaurant)

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